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THE CUTTING EDGE: 22.06.2020

Saturday June 27 2020
By THE WATCHMAN

TEEN PREGNANCY: The statistics of teen pregnancies during the Covid-19 pandemic are shocking, remarks Ruth Gituma, in response to the revelation that Machakos County alone has recorded 4,000 cases. The situation, Ruth adds, is bound to get worse with the prolonged school holidays. “We shall be in this situation much longer than we had hoped, and so we shall have many dropouts!” She is worried about what will happen to these young girls who have been forced to become mothers too early. “Have we, as parents, abdicated our responsibilities or have our social norms gone to the dogs?” Even more harrowing for Ruth is that some of the pregnancies are incestuous! Her contact is [email protected]

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DOUBLE STANDARDS: There are two sets of laws in Kenya, as is evident in the coronavirus epidemic, remarks Kamichore Mutindira. The poor, he notes, are sometimes forced to bury their loved ones at night and without the dignity of a coffin, with only 15 mourners present. Prominent people have more than 400 mourners, including health officers. A recent burial had 100 police officers. “Some politicians meet every weekend and nobody questions them. Amazingly, a villager trying to ‘obey his thirst’ will be clobbered and taken into quarantine.” His contact is [email protected]

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PANDEMIC SCAPEGOAT: Some public offices are taking advantage of the coronavirus challenges to avoid offering the vital services they have been assigned, moans Charles Akelo. The public survey office in Kakamega, he claims, is one of those exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic safety measures to deny the people essential services. “The office remains closed most of the time with the officers only reporting on duty and disappearing. I had to wait for a whole week to get copy of a map and yet I had paid in advance for the service.” Charles is not amused that he had to make countless trips to the office, turning up almost every day and returning home empty-handed. His contact is [email protected]

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THROWING CAUTION TO THE WIND: The main reason why Covid-19 cases are on the rise in the country is the lax supervision by public health authorities to ensure the people strictly follow safety guidelines, says Damson Opiyo Onger. He fears there is bound to be an upsurge in infections. “Nowadays, it’s common to find hundreds of people going about their duties without face masks, while washing hands with soap and water or the use of sanitisers has been left to a few individuals. Social distancing in public transport is no longer observed.” His contact is [email protected]

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KEEPING LANES: On the issue of the recent switching on of the traffic lights on General Mathenge Road in Westlands, Nairobi, Ford Owino Ongito begs to differ with the people blaming this vital technology for the traffic mess at the interchange. Says he: “The traffic lights are a part of the traffic rules and regulations, which must be obeyed by all the motorists. The traffic lights at the General Mathenge Road roundabout at Westlands are supposed to ease motoring at this interchange. Our motorists’ indiscipline is what is causing the confusion and not the traffic lights. We must learn to embrace new technology and not the presence of police on the roads.” His contact is [email protected]

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POLICE HARASSMENT: Kericho County is notorious for the harassment of motorists by traffic police officers, reports Mario Weru. They target matatus while another group operates within a 10-kilometre radius of Kericho Town. “They intimidate motorists and bodaboda riders with threats of huge fines for minor defects on their vehicles to extort money.” He wonders what became of Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai’s promise to tackle such corruption when he assumed office just over a year ago. His contact [email protected]


Have a straightforward day, won’t you!

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